Winnipeg Free Press

New X2 embraces history, looks to future

by Myron Love  . Apr 13 2018
BMWThe 2018 BMW M5 comes available with all-wheel drive. Only four are expected to be for sale this year in Winnipeg.


The 2018 BMW M5 comes available with all-wheel drive. Only four are expected to be for sale this year in Winnipeg.

On Wednesday, April 4, Birchwood BMW general manager Craig Becker and his staff welcomed 150 enthusiastic BMW owners to the Pointe West AutoPark dealership to celebrate the arrival of the newest BMW products.

Senior sales consultant Patrick Hasselmann officially introduced the new X2 and M5 — which he described as two unique and special vehicles. The cars “have a common DNA that combines explosive power and the will to achieve. They speak the same language,” he said.

The X2, Hasselmann pointed out, is a cross between the larger X1 and smaller X3.

“The X2 is sportier than its siblings,” he said, “and is meant to appeal to the growing market for smaller SUVs.”

The dynamic design is modelled on classic 1970s BMW models.

“We are at the same time embracing our history and looking to the future,” he said.

The model is powered by a turbocharged two-litre inline-four engine, which puts out 228 horsepower, linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Available safety technology includes lane-departure warning, automatic high beams, forward-collision warning and low-speed automated emergency braking.

Hasselmann said the X2 — the base price of which starts at around $40,000 — is expected to be a comparatively high-volume seller for the dealership, unlike the M5, of which just four will be available to local drivers.

The 600-hp M5, he said, is the fastest BMW that has ever hit the road, and is the first M-series model with AWD. Drivers can switch to RWD — if they so desire — with the push of a button. The four-door model is also lighter than its predecessor, thanks to a greater percentage of aluminum and carbon fibre in its makeup.

Becker noted this most recent product launch follows Birchwood BMW’s introduction of the X3 last October at Bell MTS Place, and anticipates many more such launches over the coming months.

“Over the next two years, BMW will have introduced 40 new models — a combination of revamps, refreshes and brand new models,” he said. “We are all excited about what is coming down the pike.”

New hires at Nott Autocorp

Nott Autocorp’s newest recruits to the sales team include the former manager of True North Sports & Entertainment’s pro sports shop, a former quarterback from Regina and the former co-owner of award-winning Diana’s Gourmet Pizzeria in St. Vital.

“(Former Free Press restaurant reviewer) Marion Warhaft’s son was one of our regular customers,” said Pierre Coutu, who quit the restaurant business five years ago after 20 years serving pizza. He cited long hours and the need for a change for walking away from his restaurant.

For the past four years, he had been selling high-end luxury vehicles in Toronto. He said he decided to return to Winnipeg to be closer to family. He started at Nott at the beginning of March.

“I like being back here,” he said. “After being in Toronto, I have a renewed appreciation for how friendly people are here.”

He said he likes the Nott Autocorp business model — with its emphasis on high-end, pre-owned luxury models.

“This is a great place to work,” he said.

Tyler Vieira was a quarterback at the University of Regina for two years (2015-16), and was most recently selling electronics.

“Trevor (Nott) is a family friend,” said Vieira, who joined the Nott Autocorp sales team in February. “Selling luxury vehicles has been an adjustment, but I am really enjoying it here.”

Stephen Hodgson is the newest member of the Nott Autocorp sales staff, having started work at the beginning of April. Like Coutu, he has a hospitality-industry background, having served for three years as manager of guest services and retail at the Bell MTS Iceplex. For the past couple of years, he had been selling European vehicles.

“Nott Autocorp is a first-class operation,” he said. “It has a nice atmosphere, and everybody has been welcoming. I am looking forward to selling a lot of cars.”

BMW The new 2018 BMW X2. blends new technology with throwback styling.


The new 2018 BMW X2. blends new technology with throwback styling.